And the Winner is…



Green Goddess Travel is proud to announce the recipient of the first (of many) Outside My Zone award. We received 20 outstanding applications from deserving women. We would like to thank everyone who applied and encourage you to apply for future awards. Unfortunately, we only had one award to give. Jhavia has won a free trip to Iceland. She gets to enjoy the glaciers, volcanoes, the thermal springs and the company of some amazing women. Will one of them be you? Join us on this 6-day unforgettable trip to a magical island. Visit Green Goddess Travel for more details.

Jhavia has won a free tour to Iceland, including airfare! But as we all know, there are other expenses associated with travel. Jhavia will need a passport, warm clothes, spending money, luggage, etc. Books&Wanderlust has partnered with Green Goddess Travel to help Jhavia with her additional expenses. Please consider making a donation to Jhavia’s fund. Any amount will help.

Before you go, read Jhavia’s application to learn more about her wonderful spirit.


Hi, I’m Jhavia. I’m a 28 year old living in Los Angeles by way of Atlanta. I’m on the west coast with my partner, but my family is all back east. Southern girl in a Cali world!
Professionally, I work in fundraising, but my passion is wellness. I have my master’s degree in Human Services with a focus in health and wellness counseling, and I’m working on starting my own business to provide various holistic wellness services to women of color, including guided meditation and life coaching.

When I’m not working, I’m belly dancing or snapping photos. I’ve been belly dancing for over four years, and behind the camera for almost ten. I love creative expression and my life is made so much fuller (and more interesting) by these outlets. It’s such a beautiful thing to see the world through dance and music, as well as through the lens of a camera. Dance and photography have been my exploration tools, especially since I don’t get to travel as much as I’d like. I’m also a foodie, and I’ve certainly traveled the world with my palate!

In 2013, I got my passport. I decided to use all of my savings to take this important step. I was so excited because it has always been a goal of mine to see the world. I couldn’t wait to start traveling internationally! I had the ambitious goal of taking at least one international trip a year. This little book put the world within my grasp. Unfortunately, my passport was stolen during a break in just a few months after I obtained it. I received my passport in June 2013, and it was gone that October. I was heartbroken. I still am. I planned and saved for that passport. Finances have not yet allowed me to go through the process all over again. However, getting my passport again is one of my 2016 goals, and I’m determined to achieve it.

I’m from a family that loves to travel. It seems that wanderlust is hereditary! My mother instilled in us this desire to explore the world. But we didn’t have the means to travel outside of the U.S. or even the east coast, and that’s still my reality. I had never even been past Missouri prior to moving to California last year. The closest I’ve gotten to international travel is Puerto Rico, and it was honestly a feat for me to pull that off. I absolutely loved being immersed in the culture there.

Lack of money or resources hasn’t diminished my curiosity about the world.
If anything, I’m even more determined to travel so that I can be a source of inspiration for other low income women of color. I have a unique perspective as a person of color, a queer woman, a person of lower socioeconomic status…and as a person who is marginalized by society for these intersecting identities. I feel a responsibility to show others who traverse those intersections that our goals and dreams are viable, our experiences are valuable sources of knowledge, and our enrichment is important to ourselves and those who rely on us. I want to embark on this journey to reinforce my belief that dreams can come true, and to show others like me that it’s possible for them too. Poor black girls can and do travel the world, and we become richer in spirit by doing so.

2 thoughts on “And the Winner is…

  1. Darah

    Jhavia is an AMAZING person. I feel so blessed to know her and her mom Kelley. You have reached out and found the grasp of an incredible young person who will bring such sweetness and love to a trip like this. I am so glad that you found each other. All my love on a trip of a lifetime!

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